Colonial Maryland's climate and geography were not unlike that of its northern neighbor, Virginia, but its history was quite different.
Maryland was founded as a haven for Catholics. In the seventeenth century, Catholics were discriminated against in England, where the Anglican Church predominated. Sir George Calvert received a charter form King Charles I. Maryland was named after the King's consort, Henrietta Maria. George Calvert's son, Cecilius Calvert, dispatched the first group of settlers in 1634.
Even though Maryland was supposed to be a safe haven for Catholics, most of the settlers were Protestant. Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, encouraged the Maryland Assembly to pass an act of religious toleration in 1649. In spite of this toleration, there was a great deal of tumult and even a small war in the colony's early days. By 1692, the British Crown had taken over the colony, and it made Anglicanism the official religion.
Maryland became the seventh state of the United States in 1788.